The Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) , a college prep district, has its act together. According to Newsweek 2012, [Torrance High School http://ths.tusd.org/] was ranked among the top 1000 schools in the nation, coming in at 750. You may say to yourself, “That doesn’t sound all that impressive,” but when you consider the fact that California is languishing near the bottom as far tax dollars per classroom are concerned, Torrance High's placement well within the top 1000 schools in the entire nation is fairly impressive! There are approximately 26,407 public secondary schools total in the U.S.
Torrance High School By The Numbers
-100% graduation rate
-94% of grads are college bound
-An average SAT score of 1568
Check out this article [Torrance schools: Excelling in tough times http://www.tusd.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=wE6RzhdQX1k%3d&tabid=290] for a full report of just how well Torrance schools perform, on average, compared with the rest.
In addition to impressive statistics, Torrance High also recently finished 144th in the Washington Post High School Challenge Index which rates how effectively schools prepare their students for college.
As a California Distinguished School, Torrance High School is known for its plethora of academic options and is now creating quite a reputation for churning out college ready grads, despite California public schools falling victim to more and more budget cuts.
Let’s face it, moving isn’t always a great experience. It can be stressful, time-consuming and irritating. But with a little planning and preparation, it really is possible to reduce your stress and save a little sanity.
Whether you’re moving just yourself across town or packing up an entire family for a cross-country move, you can make it easier on yourself with a few helpful tips:
Tips for stress-free packing
Named Best Surf Spot in Los Angles in 2011 by LA Weekly, North Manhattan Beach (historically known as El Porto) provides the vistas typically associated with sunny southern California complete with white sand, iconic lifeguard stands, volleyball courts, a snack shack, outdoor showers and a bike path. An underwater canyon creates some of the best surfing opportunities in the South Bay.
The name change came from the Manhattan Beach City Council circa 2007 which cleaned up the image of the area previously known for hard partying ways of the 70's and 80's. While the quality of the area improved the name change was mostly ignored by South Bay locals who still largely refer to the beach as El Porto.
Only a short jaunt from LAX, visitors should take Lincoln Boulevard south to Imperial west to Vista Del Mar south. There a huge metered lot adjacent to the beach and patience will typically score you a spot.
El Porto Beach / North Manhattan Beach
Intersection of Vista Del Mar and 45th St.
There are many reasons to have decorative houseplants in your home, and not all of them are so obvious. But the benefits are plentiful. Perfect for what could be considered functional decorating, houseplants not only brighten a space and create a more relaxing atmosphere, they also purify the air by producing oxygen while absorbing toxins. Houseplants are also good for your health in other ways, as studies have linked their presence to reduced stress and tension which leads to a feeling of well-being, calmness and lower blood pressure.
So which are the best plants to have in your space? Which bring the best combination of being aesthetically pleasing but also purify the air and are easy to take care of? Here’s a look at some of the best indoor plants:
Aloe Plant – Best known for its gel that contains a number of healing properties, it also helps clean the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products.
English Ivy – Not only is it easy to grow and adaptable, NASA scientists listed it as the best air-filtering houseplant and most effective at absorbing formaldehyde.
African Violet – Among the most popular and easiest flowering houseplant to grow which also blooms year-round with little effort.
Peace Lilly – This elegant easy-care plant doesn’t require too much sun and has many varieties that bloom throughout the year. They also combat the three of most common VOCs — formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.
Snake Plant – Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this plant doesn’t need much light or water and absorbs carbon dioxide while producing oxygen at night. It’s one of the best at filtering formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning and personal care products, making it great for the bathroom.
Bamboo Palm – This attractive plant thrives in shady places and often produces flowers with small berries. Among the best plants at filtering out both benzene and trichloroethylene.
Philodendron – A hardy plant that can withstand low levels of sunlight and neglect if you don’t exactly have a green thumb.
Spider Plant - This decorative and resilient plant with rich foliage and tiny white flowers is hard to kill. It also made NASA’s list of best air-purifying plants.
Red-Edged Dracaena – A beautiful, vibrant plant brings a pop of color with its red edges and can grow to reach the ceiling, making it great for decorating and filling up large spaces.
Golden Pathos –This fast-growing plant grows easily in cool places with low levels of light and will grow in cascading vines. Great for combating formaldehyde.
Whether you're buying your first home or are a real estate veteran, the closing process can be a whirlwind. "Closing" simply refers to the day you complete the deal. You close on the property purchased and on the mortgage or loan used to finance the purchase, and the seller receives the money.
Closing can be stressful for anyone, with a lot of details, a lot of paperwork and a lot of signatures. Some of what happens can depend on where you live and local customs, but being prepared and knowing what will happen can ease your anxiety.
A closing can take place at a number of locations – typically at the offices of a title company or your lender or real estate attorney – and a neutral third party such as a closing agent will preside over the documents, signatures, instructions and payments. Depending on the situation (such as what state you live in) the closing could include your attorney or real estate agent, the seller and their attorney, a representative from your lender or a title company, a closing officer and a notary public.
As part of the closing process, you will review a series of documents to make sure they are correct and you know what you are agreeing to. Most closings are actually two closings – on your house and mortgage – so there will be documents for each. The main mortgage documents include a Promissory Note, Truth in Lending Statement, Mortgage or Deed of Trust, and Monthly Payment Letter. The documents dealing with the real estate include a Settlement Statement, Warranty Deed, Proration Agreements and Abstract of Title, among others. Bankrate.com and Zillow.com both offer helpful lists along with explanations.
Once certainty is that your closing day will also require some money on hand. A certified or cashier's check will be required to pay your down payment as well as escrows (interest, taxes, insurance) and your portion of the closing costs, which are agreed to ahead of time in the Settlement Statement. You will also need to show proof of homeowner's insurance and might be required to open an escrow account with your lender.
The final step in closing is when the closing agent records your deed with the county government. Once the deed and security instrument are filed, the property is officially yours.
For more, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also offers some more detail on what to expect at closing.